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Source: Kendall-Jackson Winery press release

SANTA ROSA, CA -- The Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival - sponsored by Kendall-Jackson Wines on behalf of the School Garden Network - enters its 14th season, Saturday, September 11, from 11a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center at 5007 Fulton Road in Santa Rosa.

The granddaddy of tomato festivals, the event contributes all its net proceeds to the School Garden Network of Sonoma County-an organization that helps students develop dedication to the environment, academic achievement and their communities, with hands-on learning about food and nutrition.

This year, the event will also host, for the first time, celebrated gardening guru, Amy Goldman. Ms. Goldman, from New York, began her love affair with vegetables over 20 years ago, growing them for state fairs. She won her share of ribbons and began working with groups like the Seed Savers' Network, which strive to preserve heirloom varieties. Her experiences led her to write books, the latest of which is The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table - Recipes, Portraits and History of the World's Most Beautiful Fruit. She will be conducting a tomato seminar for festival-goers.

The event also features many of the country's best chefs creating new, imaginative and delicious gourmet masterpieces with heirloom tomatoes-all designed to pair perfectly with the region's wines. Over 50 gourmet restaurants will be represented: coming from as far away as Chicago.

The site of the festival features a 2-1/2-acre organic sensory garden with plantings that mimic the tastes of wines, and a full culinary garden from which more than 175 varieties of heirloom tomatoes are picked fresh for the festival creations.

The event has continuous live music, vast food- and wine-tasting booths, and wine education seminars. In addition, nationally-renowned chefs will compete, "smackdown" style, for top culinary honors.

Tickets for the perennial sell-out are pre-sold only and are available online at www.kj.com, or at the Kendall-Jackson Wine Center at 5007 Fulton Road, or at the Kendall-Jackson Healdsburg tasting room at 337 Healdsburg Avenue, or by phone at 800.769.3649. Tickets are $65 / Wine Club Members $60.